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Leaving Home at 18 Years Old

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  • Leaving Home at 18 Years Old

    I'm currently 17 and turning 18 in a few weeks. I plan to move out of my parents house because of issues that we've had for over 10 years now. im living in Australia and am an American citizen and want to move in with family friends who I've known all of my life, the only thing I need is my passport. Is it illegal for parents to withhold a legal document if I'm 18? Thank you.

  • #2
    Thank you for writing the National Runaway Safeline. We are here to listen, and here to help. Congratulations on your upcoming 18th birthday. It sounds like you’ve devised a plan for when you turn 18 to live with your friends. What state do your parents come from? Some states have different ages of majority, but 18 is the age in most states. We are sorry to hear that your parents want to withhold your passport. Are you trying to come back to the US, or stay in Australia? It also sounds like they are unclear with you about why they are trying to keep your passport in the first place. The good news is that you can always buy and order a new passport, if they do not in fact give you yours back.

    Here is some information about getting your passport:

    Feel free to review these resources so that you can identify what steps to take if they fail to return your passport. There is definitely a process for getting a new one. (You may have to pay, which is unfortunate.) You can also call the passport help line and let them know your situation.


    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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